New Paper: Wearable Cane and App System for Improving Mobility in Toddlers/Pre-schoolers With Visual Impairment
Ambrose-Zaken GV, FallahRad M, Bernstein H, Wall Emerson R and Bikson M (2019) Wearable Cane and App System for Improving Mobility in Toddlers/Pre-schoolers With Visual Impairment. Front. Educ. 4:44. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2019.00044 PDF
Children with congenital severe visual impairment and blindness (SVI&B) are at greater risk of developing delays in motor and other developmental domains. This report describes a series of experiments conducted to evaluate a novel wearable cane and mobile application system prototype. The wearable cane and application system was tested on ability to (a) provide hands-free autonomous arc able to detect obstacles, level, and surface changes; (b) integrate into indoor/outdoor activities of a specialized pre-school for learners with SVI&B; and (c) be adopted by families, professionals and learners with SVI&B as a safe mobility solution. Sixteen stakeholders and 34 children under five with SVI&B evaluated the prototype system. The project successfully created a hands-free wearable white cane that provided students with SVI&B under age five with next step warning when walking across a variety of terrain. Pre-school participants with SVI&B easily adopted the wearable cane into their activities with minimal to no prompting or instruction. The P20 prototype scored well across usability features, including maintaining consistent, hands-free, autonomous arc. The invention of a hands-free mobility tool was a significant outcome of this project. These data support that autonomous arc has the ability to provide developmentally appropriate safe mobility solution for toddlers with SVI&B.